Gurgaon: A chargesheet has been filed by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Congress leader Motilal Vora, in connection with the alleged illegal allotment of a plot to Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of National Herald Newspaper.

The investigative agency has charged the then Haryana chief minister Hooda, who was also the chairman of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the then chairman of the AJL, Vora, and the company under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections related to criminal conspiracy, cheating and the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

It has been alleged that the Hooda government allotted the plot in violation of norms. The 3,500-square feet plot was given on lease to AJL in 1982, but no construction took place on it till 1992. HUDA took back the possession in 1996 after the lease expired. It is said that the same plot was re-allotted to the AJL at its original rates in 2005 by allegedly violating the laid down norms by the then HUDA chairman.

The case was initially taken up by the Haryana State Vigilance Bureau and an FIR was filed in 2016 against Hooda and four HUDA officials. The re-allotment of land was done against the legal opinion of the authorities, the FIR had stated.  The CBI took over the investigation of the case in April 2017. The agency, in October this year, sought permission to prosecute Hooda in the case.

Meanwhile, Motilal Vora who has also been chargesheeted in connection with re-allotment of institution plot in Panchkula said the Haryana government is working with bad intentions. Vora added that the matter is sub-judice and the truth will triumph in the end. He further said that they’ll give a reply to the chargesheet and there are no irregularities in the matter.

The AJL is reportedly controlled by senior Congress leaders, including members of the Gandhi family. The group runs the National Herald newspaper.